The hugely popular Ramadan Nights markets, which usually run for a whole month over April and May in ordinary years, will not go ahead in 2021.
The event, which last occurred in 2019, usually takes place as an amalgamation of food stalls, music, cultural activities and outdoor seating in the south-west suburb of Lakemba. Usually, Haldon Street and Railway Parade are brought to life as dusk falls in a celebration of Iftar, or the breaking of fast, during the holy month of Ramadan. You'd be able to walk along and pick up food from places as widely strewn as Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Syria, and beyond; and break fast with net roti and lentil curries from the Cocos Islands; Malaysia's famously buttery murtabak; and haleem, the king of curries from Pakistan (it features four kinds of slow-cooked pulses with tender beef topped with a fresh and fragrant sprinkling of coriander, ginger, fried onions and lemon juice).
"Due to current NSW public health orders and restrictions the decision has been made by Council that the formal Ramadan Nights event will not be held in 2021," said the Canterbury Bankstown Council's website. "This does not mean that we will not continue to celebrate and recognise this important time. We apologise for any inconvenience and look forward to celebrating with you in 2022.”
We look forward to the next time we can wander the streets filling up on fresh, charred naan, camel burgers, carrot juice, jalebi and knafeh, plus an array of sweets, biscuits, drinks and take home packs (the only limit is your own stomach capacity). The event is an important one for the city's Muslim community – here's hoping 2022 will see it return.